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peering analysis

  • From: Jennifer DePalma
  • Date: Wed Sep 02 14:29:30 1998

I have recently put together a brief history of peering arrangements, and am
now starting on an economic/political analysis of peering.  I'm trying to
get in touch with people in the industry and sift through answers to the
following questions.  If you have time to answer them via email or the phone
that would be great.  Can you think of other questions I should be asking?
I suppose my ultimate question is "Is the market fair, open and free"?  I
say yes, and economically it's probably fairly easy to prove.  Politically
is another story...

How easy is it to enter the market at different levels?  What are the
largest start-up costs?  

How political is it?

How do you stay competitive?

What are the technical dangers involved in peering?

What are the excuses used for not peering?  Are they valid?  

What reasons are smaller ISPs giving for wanting free settlements?  Are they

Is the claim true that the telco-owned networks use their Internet shares to
"force" smaller ISPs to lease their lines?  If so, is this unfair?  How does
it affect pricing and the market in general?  Does is produce waste?

What percentage of traffic both originates and terminates on Sprint's
network, Cable & Wireless, UUNet, etc.?

What, if anything, is wrong with nondisclosure agreements?  How do they
affect the market?

How should disputes in the industry be resolved?

What are the Pros and Cons of peering?

How does the global market figure in?  (With so much of the international
traffic going through California, is this good, bad, or neutral for US

I'd greatly appreciate any useful input.

Thanks, Jennifer

Jennifer A. DePalma
202.842.3490 (fax)

Research Analyst
Telecommunications and Technology Studies
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

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